“Just because I want it doesn’t mean I have to have it. ”
Is a mantra that can be tremendously helpful in fighting binge eating. So often, people believe that they need to satisfy their urges immediately. And why not? We live in a world where instant gratification is the norm. The media sells directly to our compulsive sides because the feeling of wanting can be painful. It is okay to want. But just because you want, just because you have an urge or an itch doesn’t mean you have to satisfy it. You can be in the wanting. Fortunately, when the wanting is about food it is one of the easiest wantings to get past.
It’s heartbreaking to want to be with a certain person who rejects you.
It’s heartbreaking to want a child when you’re unable to have one.
It’s heartbreaking to want your mother to be alive again.
It’s not heartbreaking to want a whole cheesecake or a gallon of ice cream. That want is fleeting. However, it’s a want that is very, very easy to satisfy.
That being said, of course people often eat when they are wanting something else that they can’t have. For instance, sometimes, when people want something like money, a partner, a child, love from a parent, they will eat. They can’t satisfy the real want, but the want for food can be easily placated. Unfortunately, after the want of food is satisfied, the other want remains, and you still must learn to live with the pain of yearning after something that you have no control over.
Next time you find yourself in a place of wanting to binge eat or binge and purge, remind yourself “Just because I want it doesn’t mean I have to have it,” and just sit with that for a little while. You might find that it wasn’t actually food that you were craving.
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